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Conflict
Many parents watch their children enter the teenage years with a high level of anxiety.  They expect a sudden surge of family disharmony and wonder how they will survive.

It is true that family disagreements increase during the adolescent years.  While it can be tiring and uncomfortable, some conflict between parents and teenagers is not always a bad thing.  Family squabbles can be a sign that teenagers are asserting their individuality and becoming more independent from their parents in the way they think and act.

On the other hand, when conflict is intense, very frequent, or involves physical or verbal violence, relationships between parents and teenagers can become strained.

This topic gives you information about what you can expect during the adolescent years.  It also describes some ways to think about conflict that will stand you in good stead during this exciting but sometimes challenging stage in family life.

How often do parents and teenagers fight?

First, let us dispel a myth.  The idea that adolescence is one long fight between teenagers and their parents is not accurate.  In fact, the majority of teenagers say that they like their parents and get along well with them.

However, it is true that arguing and bickering increase in the teen years.  Research has shown that conflict peaks in the 12-13 year age group; a young adolescent quarrels with a parent twice a week on average, for about 15 minutes at time.  This generally reduces as the teenager gets older.

What do parents and teenagers fight about?

Researchers have found that most disputes between parents and teenagers are not very heated and are typically about everyday issues, such as: • fighting with brothers and sisters
• cleaning up bedroom
• possessions
• their own space
• time
• helping out around the house
• doing homework
• bedtime
• time to come home
• household chores
• friends and responsibilities. ...
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